Steps To Take After A Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents are more common than people think. Even the most careful and defensive bicyclists can get hit by a motor vehicle, which is why it is vital to know what steps to take after a bicycle accident to protect your legal rights. When accidents involving bicyclists occur, the bicyclist is likely to suffer devastating and life-threatening injuries because cyclists are considered some of the most vulnerable road users.
While pedestrians and bicyclists account for less than 1% of all individuals involved in road accidents, they account for a staggering 17% of all traffic fatalities, according to Georgia Traffic Safety Facts by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident in Columbus, GA, consider speaking with our skilled and results-driven attorney at The Mark Casto Law Firm. Our attorneys have decades of experience in helping injured individuals pursue the justice they are owed under the law. Call 706-940-4030 to schedule a free consultation.
12 Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident in Columbus, GA
For any cyclist, getting hit by a car can be a traumatizing and overwhelming experience. However, it is essential to stay calm and take the right steps following the accident. The steps you take after your bicycle accident can affect your ability to recover maximum compensation available to you under the law.
- Get to Safety
Staying on the road following a bicycle accident could result in secondary crashes, which is why it is critical to get off the road to avoid worsening your injuries. However, if you are unable to move, wait for the arrival of paramedics or police.
- Call the Police
Once you get to a safe location after a bicycle accident, call the police and report your collision. The police will prepare an accident report, which you can later use when pursuing compensation. Under Georgia law, parties involved in motor vehicle crashes must report any accidents involving injuries, deaths, or property damage in excess of $500 (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273).
- Wait for the Police to Arrive
Following a bicycle accident, you and other motorists involved in the crash are legally required to remain at the scene if the crash caused injuries, deaths, or property damage. Wait for the police to arrive to investigate the scene of the accident and create an accident report.
- Collect Contact and Insurance Information
While waiting for the arrival of the police, you could use the time to collect the contact and insurance information of all the parties involved in the bicycle accident. Write down other motorists' phone numbers, names, addresses, and their insurance information. If you cannot do it yourself, ask a witness or bystander to assist you.
- Talk to Witnesses
Identify the witnesses who saw what happened. Witness statements play a pivotal role when there are disputes regarding fault and liability in bicycle accident cases. Write down the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the crash.
- Preserve Evidence
Evidence collected at the scene of a bicycle accident can strengthen your future insurance claim or lawsuit in pursuit of monetary compensation. Take photos of your injuries, vehicle and bicycle damage, road conditions, positioning of the vehicles and your bicycle, and other details that might be relevant to establishing liability.
An experienced attorney at The Mark Casto Law Firm could help you review your particular situation and identify what types of evidence could be useful to secure a favorable outcome in your case.
- Write Down What Happened
This is arguably one of the most important steps to take after a bicycle accident, though many accident victims skip it. Memories can fade over time, which is why it is crucial to have a written account of what happened, including:
- The date and time of the collision
- The exact location where the bicycle accident occurred
- What the weather was like when the accident happened
- Whether there were any factors that could contribute to the accident
- What the other driver, witnesses, and police officers said at the scene
It is vital to write down all relevant details regarding the accident.
- Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
Bicyclists are likely to suffer serious injuries when they get hit by motor vehicles, even when wearing a helmet and other protective gear. For this reason, it is critical to seek medical attention immediately after the crash to document injuries and start the treatment as soon as possible.
Even if the injuries seem minor or you feel completely fine, it is imperative to visit an emergency room or hospital for a medical check-up.
- Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
If you have an insurance policy, your insurer may require you to report any accidents within a reasonable amount of time following the accident. When reporting the accident, stick to the facts and avoid speculating or making assumptions.
- Do Not Accept a Settlement Quickly
Even if the amount of money offered by an insurance company seems sufficient to cover your expenses and losses, do not accept the settlement offer until you understand the actual value of your claim. A skilled attorney can help you evaluate your damages and losses to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
- Consider Consulting with an Attorney
Recovering damages after a bicycle accident can be both confusing and overwhelming, especially for someone who was severely injured in that accident. Consider contacting an experienced bicycle accident attorney to help you navigate the legal process and pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.
- Continue Your Medical Treatment
Many accident victims underestimate the importance of continuing medical treatment recommended by their doctor following a post-accident check-up. Failure to receive medical treatment or attend follow-up appointments could jeopardize your legal claim.
Schedule a Free Strategy Session with a Columbus Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries while riding a bicycle, the priority should be focusing on your treatment and getting better. Dealing with the legal aspects of the claims process can be both stressful and confusing. Consider contacting a knowledgeable attorney to alleviate some of that stress and guide you through the process.
At The Mark Casto Law Firm, we take pride in our personalized approach to legal representation. Speak with our bicycle accident attorney in Columbus, Georgia, to discuss the steps to take after a bicycle accident to protect your legal rights. Call 706-940-4030.